Recommendation of the federal government: If the power fails over a large area, you should make these preparations
The power grid in Germany is safe and stable – even in the midst of the energy crisis, a total blackout is more than unlikely. Nevertheless, the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance recommends a packing list for emergencies.
Telephone, Internet, elevators, trains, gas stations, supermarkets: we are dependent on a power supply in almost every area of our everyday life. If this fails, nothing works anymore. Even at home there would then no longer be any electric light at night and the heating would also be out of order.
But the quality of the power grid in Germany is exceptionally high and such a scenario with widespread and prolonged power outages seems rather unlikely. Nevertheless, the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) provides a list of food, useful tips and information to prepare for the worst case scenario.
This is what happens when there is a major power outage
If there is no electricity, modern cash registers work just as little as ATMs to get fresh money. Supply chains could also break down and the cooling of fresh products is also no longer guaranteed. Therefore, the BBK recommends Eating and drinking for 10 days to have at home as a supply. There is a detailed list of foods in PDF format that are recommended for emergency care:
Grain products, bread, potatoes
- Wholemeal bread: 714 g
- Rusks: 286 g
- Crispbread: 714 g
- Noodles, raw: 357 g
- Rice, raw: 179 g
- Oat/cereal flakes: 536 g
- Potatoes, raw, peeled: 714 g
- Canned beans: 571 g
- Canned Peas/Carrots: 643 g
- Red cabbage in cans/jars: 500 g
- Canned sauerkraut: 500 g
- Asparagus in jars: 286 g
- Canned Corn: 286 g
- Canned mushrooms: 286 g
- Pickles in a jar: 286 g
- Beetroot: 286 g
- Onions, fresh: 357 g
- Cherries in a jar: 500 g
- Canned pears: 179 g
- Canned apricots: 179 g
- Canned tangerines: 250 g
- Canned pineapple: 250 g
- Raisins: 143 g
- Hazelnut kernels: 143 g
- Prunes: 179 g
- Fresh fruit (apple, pear, banana, orange): 714 g
- Water: 20 liters (2 liters per person per day)
- Lemon juice: 0.14 l
- Coffee powder: 179 g
- Black tea: 89 g
milk, dairy products
- UHT milk with 3.5% fat: 2 liters
- Hard cheese: 500 g
fish, meat, eggs
- Canned tuna: 107 g
- Canned sardines in oil: 71 g
- Herring fillet in sauce, canned: 71 g
- Canned Corned Beef: 179 g
- Bockwurst in a jar/can: 214 g
- Veal liver sausage in a glass/can: 214 g
- Long-life sausage (e.g. salami): 257 g
- Eggs: 8 pieces / approx. 379 g
- Butter or margarine: 179 g
- Oil (corn germ, sunflower): 0.214 l
And at will
Sugar, sweetener, honey, jam, chocolate, alcohol, iodized salt, dried potato products (e.g. mashed potatoes), flour, instant stock, cocoa powder, hard biscuits, pretzel sticks, etc.
Important: Don’t forget the water reserve. The BBK recommends 2 liters of water per day and person. For 10 days that makes 20 liters per person, including a portion for cooking. Speaking of cooking: in the event of a power failure, you can neither use the fridge nor the stove. A small gas camping stove will do a good job in this case.
The free e-book “Cookbook for all cases” from the BBK is also helpful. It lists various recipes for dishes that can be prepared even without electricity and running water.
You also need that
In the event of an emergency, the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance also advises having the following items and materials at home.
- DIN first aid kit
- medicines prescribed by the doctor
- skin disinfectant
- wound disinfectant
- Means against cold diseases
- clinical thermometer
- anti-diarrheal remedies
- Insect bite and sunburn ointment
- splinter tweezers
- Soap (bar), detergent (kg)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste (piece)
- Sets disposable crockery & cutlery (piece)
- household paper (rolls)
- toilet paper (rolls)
- Garbage bag (piece)
- Camping toilet, spare bag (piece)
- household gloves (pair)
- Disinfectant, soft soap (piece)
- Clear out basement and attic
- fire extinguisher
- smoke detector
- Fire blanket (wool blanket if necessary)
- container for fire-fighting water
- water bucket
- Bucket syringe or adjustable syringe
- Garden or car wash hose
- candles, tea lights
- matches, lighter
- backup batteries
- Camping, spirit stove with fuel
- heating facility
- personal medication
- makeshift protective clothing
- Blanket, sleeping bag
- underwear, stockings
- Rubber boots, sturdy shoes
- Crockery, cutlery, thermos flask, mug
- material for wound care
- can opener and pocket knife
- durable, warm clothing
- headgear, protective helmet
- Protective mask, makeshift respiratory protection
- working gloves
- Radio suitable for battery operation or a crank radio
- backup batteries
Prepare emergency luggage
If you have to leave the house immediately in an emergency, you usually don’t have time to pack. If you want to prepare yourself optimally for this emergency situation, you should use a checklist to put together an escape backpack. This is simply taken with you in an emergency and already contains all the important things. In addition to food and medicines, this also includes tools and means of communication.
If an escape backpack is not available, a packing list for emergency luggage is advisable, which can be collected and taken with you within a few minutes if necessary. In addition to food, medication and first aid equipment, means of communication and documents are particularly advisable here.
- Have you determined which documents are absolutely necessary?
- Are your documents organized appropriately?
- Are there copies of important documents (ID, driver’s license, birth certificate, etc.) and are these notarized if necessary?
- Have you created a document folder?
- Are document folders or important documents to hand?
If the worst comes to the worst, clever tips are also helpful. Therefore, the federal government offers a guide for emergency preparedness and correct action in emergency situations. The free e-book gives you tips on what to do in the event of a disaster. The guide explains which foods you should keep in stock. The BBK manual summarizes all the important steps at the end in a checklist for use in the event of a disaster.
The BBK offers a helpful e-book with tips for prevention and self-help especially for a power failure.
Use warning apps
The NINA app from the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance should not be missing on any smartphone anyway, but it is essential for emergencies such as a blackout.
The app has an integrated warning function that you can use to be warned in the event of a disaster. The BBK pushes messages from the modular warning system MoWas to the app. You can either share your location through the app or set specific locations for which you want to receive alerts.
The smartphone is essential, especially in emergency situations. You should therefore make preparations here in order to be able to use the mobile phone for as long as possible. In the event of a power failure, it is useful to have an alternative charging option, such as a charged power bank. If it can then also be recharged using a solar panel, you are well equipped.
Otherwise, it is important to save battery as much as possible so that you can use the cell phone for as long as possible. If several mobile phones are available, it is best to only switch on one in order to conserve the battery of the others. It is particularly important to reduce the brightness of the display. If there is no mobile network anyway, you can also put the mobile phone in flight mode and manually test from time to time whether the network is available again.
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